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South Alabama and Mississippi State hope to bounce back from disappointing weekends when they meet in a non-conference baseball game today at 6 p.m. at Stanky Field.

USA (8-13) dropped the last two games of its Sun Belt series with New Orleans and MSU (13-9) lost all three games of its SEC series with nationally ranked Georgia.

“It’s an important game for both clubs because you want to build some momentum heading into the next conference series,” said Jaguars coach Steve Kittrell.

The Jaguars and Bulldogs both are struggling. South Alabama has lost six of its last seven games and Mississippi State has dropped five of its last six. MSU beat USA 5-1 a month ago in Starkville.

“They played well against us at their place,” Kittrell said. “They’re a little more aggressive than they used to be under coach (Ron) Polk.”

Neither team is hitting with much authority. South Alabama’s batting average slipped to .294 after going 11-for-66 in the final two games against New Orleans, including only two extra-base hits.

“Our hitters were swinging the bats well until the last two games,” Kittrell said. “We looked like we had trouble making adjustments at the plate and got jammed a lot.

The Mississippi Press
3/24/09